The chateau was the most important royal palace in France before the construction of Versailles. Significant building work was carried out by Francis I and Henry IV. The renaissance garden is described and illustrated by Gothein. It resembles the plan of the Villa Lante in Italy. Le Notre designed a baroque garden but only the upper terrace survives - it is 2.5 km long and known locally as the Terrasse Le Nï¿½tre.